The Last Chance For An Offseason Rant

The 2018 Verizon IndyCar season starts next weekend, with the first practice starting a week from today. That means that the long offseason is just about over. Usually, I get in one rant in the offseason that has very little to do with racing; but everything to do with my dislikes of the latest trendy sayings, corporate buzzwords, clichés and the most recent bad commercials. Don’t take from this that I’m a very negative guy. I’m not. I just have a lot of pet-peeves and dislikes.

The hits from years past indicate that this is a popular theme, but I’ve also gotten a few snarky comments from those that say I need to stick to racing. Well, once the season starts – I generally try to do just that. But since this is still the offseason, I figured I’d try to squeeze this in before the season starts. In no particular order, other than what pops into my head next – lets jump on into the vat of cynicism and negativity.

The Verizon Commercials: Yes I know that Verizon has been awfully good to IndyCar for the past few years, even though they are leaving at the end of this upcoming season. But even if they were staying and committing for another five years, that wouldn’t make them immune from being criticized for their horrible and unwatchable commercials.

The bearded millennial that seems to think he is so hip and funny is currently the most annoying person on TV. Whether he is doing the mic drop or interrupting a NY Giants press conference, his mere presence on my screen makes me want to either throw up or change the channel quickly – whichever happens first. I never made the switch to Verizon. I thought about it but I was grandfathered in with AT&T and have unlimited data. Had I switched to Verizon, this guy would have made me switch back.

The Mic Drop: I have wondered how this even became a thing. I researched it and found out that although the term had been around for a while, it was popularized by President Obama when he appeared on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon in April of 2012.

Regardless of its origin, it has run its course. Six years of mic drops is enough.

Reaching Out: I will credit our friend Pressdog with bringing this to a public discussion on Facebook a couple of weeks ago. It’s one I’ve found annoying for years and have refused to use.

Sometime, somewhere – some corporate schmuck decided that contacting someone sounded way too simple. Instead of calling someone, it sounded so much more important to reach out to them. The result is that several times a day at work, I get e-mails from someone telling me they wanted to reach out to me. It conjures up images of me getting a hug from them, which brings all sorts of bad visuals into my brain.

Sharing: When people reach out to me, I find that many times they want to share something with me. In school, I used to share my sandwich with the other kids. At a restaurant, I’ll share some of my appetizer with Susan. I’m thinking they are e-mailing me because they have something they’d like to split with me – like half of a pair of Nashville Predator tickets.

Imagine my disappointment when I find out they just want to tell me something. When did telling something to someone evolve into share? It sounds so group-huggish.

Flo: I’m not quite sure how long Progressive Insurance has used Flo as their spokesperson, but it’s been way too long. What started out as silly has become ridiculous. When Flo became a private detective or playing every character around the family dinner table, that was when they crossed the line into absurdity. Did someone at the ad agency convince them that this was a funny campaign or did the CEO’s wife come up with it? Flo has to go!

Chevy Commercials with “Real People”: I know you’ve seen these. They get a group of lame people that seem to know nothing about cars and they ask them stupid questions that they can’t answer. Somehow, exposing to them that Chevys are wonderful makes their day.

The latest has a bunch of these idiots sitting on a closed freeway ramp with traffic everywhere else around them. They talk about being stranded in a place like that. How is that any worse than sitting at a table on a freeway? Make it stop!

Dilly Dilly: OK, I’ll admit…when the first of these Bud Light ads ran around Halloween, I found them funny. Then they ran a second one that was not quite as funny, but I wasn’t bothered by it. Then Anheuser-Busch realized they had struck a chord when they started seeing Dilly Dilly written on stadium crowd signs. That was their license to go wild. Like everything these days – it was overkill. Now when I hear someone respond to anything with Dilly Dilly, I cringe.

The Sprint Guy: I may have sounded off about this guy previously. You remember the annoying Verizon guy who would always say “Can you hear me now?” Well, apparently Verizon fired him in favor of the even more annoying bearded guy described above.

Sprint picked him up and he took his own annoying trait to a new level. He now whines about how he doesn’t like Verizon anymore (presumably because they fired him) and he now hawks for Sprint…who happens to be a distant third to AT&T and Verizon. That’s sort of like if Tom Sneva started telling everyone how much of a better team Jerry O’Connell Racing is than Team Penske – just after Penske fired Sneva after the 1978 season.

Daytona Day: I think I made my point about Daytona Day last week. No need to beat that dead horse anymore.

Metrics or Analytics: It used to be we would just say “Let’s look at the numbers”. Apparently, that is too blasé in today’s corporate world. We need to look at the metrics or the analytics. Now it’s the same thing, mind you. But saying you want to analyze the metrics just makes you sound so much smarter…I guess.

The Optics: When I was growing up, we used to go through the motions because it made things look good. Looking good is way too common of a term for someone in the business world today. Nowadays, we do things for the optics. About six months ago, someone told me that we needed to do something to satisfy the optics. I had to ask him what he meant. When he gave me this convoluted explanation, I finally asked “so it’ll look good”? He nodded. I shook my head.

Genre:  This is one of my (many) pet peeves. I think people like saying this word because it makes them feel so cultured…almost French. What ever happened to categories?

iPhone X commercial: Although I eventually want one someday sooner than later, the commercial for the iPhone X makes me reconsider. The music, the swirling colors and the endless parade of hip people using Face ID is bad enough. But when they show the talking emojis; one asking the other if she wants to meet him in the pub and she responds with the irritating “Yah” – I want to take my iPhone 6 and throw it at the television

Cray: Seriously? We’re so lazy we have to shorten the word crazy? We lose one letter and a syllable. For what, to sound cool? That’s cray-cray!

Bible: The first time I heard this, I thought I’d missed something. I then realized that this is the new trendy way to say “I promise” or “I swear”. This makes about as much sense as the then-trendy Word did about fifteen years ago. In 2003, my thirteen year-old son responded to something I said by saying Word. I looked at him in dismay and said Shoebox. Why not? It made just as much sense.

Snatched: Growing up, if I told someone their outfit was snatched – they’d think someone stole it. Today, that’s the new way of saying it looks good. Groovy!

Skittles commercial: Is it just me or is the Skittles commercial where the young couple gets Skittles growing out of their faces just a little gross? They make it worse when the girl pulls one off of the guy’s face like it’s a zit or something worse, and then proceeds to eat it. Do they really think that makes me want to run down to the store and buy a bunch of Skittles?

Wrap my head around it: This one has been in the corporate world for a while. I know it’s supposed to mean I’m trying to understand it, but it just sounds stupid. It’s sort of like another of my favorites I’ve mentioned before…Throwing her under the bus. I know what it means but it sounds dumb saying it.

Wrong on so many levels: It was bad enough when people said That’s so wrong or That’s just wrong. But now it’s wrong on so many levels. Does being a multi-level wrong surpass being so wrong or just wrong. Whatever happened to That sucks?

So there you have this year’s offseason rant. You can add some of these trendy sayings and corporate buzzwords to my list that already contained things like At the end of the day, the non-words Irregardless or Flustrated, THAT’S what I’M talking about and Epic Fail.

I’m not really this much of a grump, but I tend to speak in plain and direct English. I get frustrated (not flustrated) when someone tries to sound important by using the latest saying. I’ve got news for them…I’m not impressed. They just make themselves sound very pretentious.

I’ll be all about racing on Monday. It’ll be Race Week by then. End of rant. Dilly Dilly.

George Phillips

28 Responses to “The Last Chance For An Offseason Rant”

  1. “Yo, word!” Man, has that always bugged the hell out of me! But I’m afraid you are off about 15 years. That “word” thang (hahaha) became popular (at least in the bigger cities) when Cameo’s Word Up became a pretty big Top 40 hit in 1986. They were an R&B group out of Indianapolis, I believe, and it was their biggest hit. And it was during that timeframe that I started hearing my friends greet me with “Word.” I was like you, George, I think I said something like “something we use to communicate with?” They didn’t think I was funny….

  2. Thanks for reaching out and sharing George. The optics of this column make it a real mic drop. Just kidding. I agree with everything you said

  3. George , I hate those Chevy ads .

  4. Preach on, brother! (Unless you find that term annoying!)

  5. Bruce Waine Says:

    A Few Minutes With George Phillips .

    Brings back memories of another time and another era.

    A refreshing memory of Andy Rooney of 60 Minutes.

    Believe many viewers of 60 Minutes would turn on their televisions (TV’s) about quarter of seven on Sunday evenings just to hear Andy’s insightful comments.

    George you brought back great memories of Andy.

    Thank goodness for the television (TV) remote control with its every ready channel switch button and mute button.

    Perhaps a sign of growing older (and wiser ?) when you realize that the advertisements (ads) and catch words are focused on the much younger generation………… Implying that we no longer have purchasing power……………

  6. Ron Ford Says:

    “My thoughts and prayers are with you” as said by any politician makes me cringe.

  7. Pee Wee Says:

    Great rant!

    All the commercials with the head exploding/mind blown action. Stupid.

  8. S0CSeven Says:

    I record everything I want to watch (except for live races) and FF through the commercials so I know not of what you speak.

    You can even record races and watch them an hour of so in.

    Try it.

  9. Ron Ford Says:

    And how could “boogity, boogity, boogity not make your list of any list?

  10. billytheskink Says:

    The bad commercials, I can take. I’ve seen the worst. I watched pretty much every race in the last few seasons of Champcar… for those that weren’t there, this is how it went down:

    “and Bourdais leads by 14 seconds, mandatory pit windows are open, stops coming right after this.”

    – Bridgestone “wheel goes ’round” commercial

    – Ford commercial where woman pays for the dry cleaning of the guy in the car behind her at the drive-thru dry cleaners (!!!)

    – local furniture store magnate shouts at you in a spot cable ad purchased from unsold national ad inventory

    – store commercial, created in Powerpoint

    Oh, hi Rick Benjamin!
    “Bourdais just leaving the pits, Phillippe leads but will have to stop in the next few laps… Oh! and ‘Speedy’ Dan Clarke is in the tires. Caution out, restart when we return.”

    – “And the wheel… and the wheel… goes ’round (woo hoo)”

    – “Built Ford Tough” logo cracks cement

    – local car dealer shouts at you in a spot cable ad purchased from unsold national ad inventory

    – “And the wheel… and the wheel… goes ’round” but this time with people tangoing in the rain

    Oh hi Derek Daly!
    “Hang onta yur hollyhocks! Bar-day is gonna have his hans full on this re-stirt with Al-man-dingur and Pal Tracy!

    Oh hi Jon Beekhuis and Joe Barbieri! Does the wheel really go ’round?
    “It does, doesn’t it Joe?”
    “I can confirm that”

    – “The wheel goes ’round and ’round…”

  11. One trendy way of talking that I can’t stand is when someone makes a statement and immediately follows it up with “Right?” Chris Myers did that seven times in one short break during Sunday’s NASCAR race. Curt and Kevin are getting pretty bad at it too. And I’m really sick of “if you will”. That doesn’t even make any sense.

    • I know what you’re saying, right? 😉

      • Patrick Says:

        Mark and Jake on the radio network can’t open their mouths without saying “if you will.” It would be easy to make their point without that tag, but they must think they sound smart saying it. Curt Cavin has picked it up too.

        • Yannick Says:

          What bugs me when I listen to Scott Dixon talking is how often he says “you know”. When I read interviews with him in print, the editors usually cut it out, whereas they usually don’t edit the language quirks of Carlos Munoz and Takuma Sato.

  12. Reba dressed and the colonial has me boycotting KFC, that grew old after about 3 commercials.

    Thoughts and prayers is frustrating, many who say this just use it as a tagline to express sadness, not many are really thinking of or praying for the person. Then when people use it for silly things. “Oh George stubbed his toe last night, little bruised up” “oh thoughts and prayers” prayers for what?!?!

    Business buzzwords are terrible also. Working in banking, I hate the term, “brick and mortar”. All the ones you mentioned are also frustrating as well.

  13. Thank you for enriching this non-native speaker not living stateside with some interesting new vocabulary. I hadn’t heard most of these idioms yet but I remember “reaching out” from CSNY’s 1988 song “American Dream” and thus, I don’t consider it rather run-of-the mill instead of a trend.

  14. The one that’s driven me nuts for years now…..”At the end of the day.” For some reasons, folks say it all the time in interviews on sports talk radio. Could they just switch it out once in a while with “When it’s all said and done” or “In time” or “Eventually”?

  15. Once I’m done with my inclusion training and we finish thinking outside the box to expand our core competencies, I’ll circle back with you so we can delve deeper into the analytics and then onboard the next generation of our company. Let’s take this offline so we can touch base and really solidify the corporate synergy.

    Hashtag nailed it.

  16. Lynn Weinberg Says:

    The lady from the Viberzi commercials who is dressed like the entire digestive system!

  17. My favorite that I wish would disappear is “correct me if I am wrong.” Usually that person thinks they are very right.

  18. Ron Ford Says:

    I did not think anyone was worst than Flo until I saw “CashNet.Com Man!”

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